Pokémon Change

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Pokémon Change
Pokémon change
Pokémon Change
User Pokémon Trainer
Universe Pokémon
Article on Bulbapedia Pokémon Change

Pokémon Change (ポケモンチェンジ, Pokémon Change) is Pokémon Trainer's down special move. It is one of only two moves that all three of the Trainer's Pokémon have in common (the other being Triple Finish). It switches between his three Pokémon - Charizard, Squirtle, and Ivysaur. If Charizard is currently in use, it will switch to Squirtle. If Squirtle is in use, it will switch to Ivysaur. If Ivysaur is in use, it will switch to Charizard. Using this move too little will result in the Pokémon's stamina being drained. Only one Pokémon needs be knocked out to score against Pokémon Trainer.

If one Pokémon is KO'd, Pokémon Trainer will summon the next Pokémon in the rotation to the revival platform. Pokémon Change cannot be used again until the starting invincibility has worn off. Pokémon Change also cannot be used in midair.

While changing, there is a little time in which the Pokémon have invincibility frames. It can be used to "dodge" various attacks, most notably Final Smashes.

Notably, using Pokémon Change ends nearly all status effects on the Pokémon, both positive and negative. This includes super or mini size, Starman invincibility, metal form, Franklin Badges, Screw Attacks, etc. The exceptions to this rule are slowed-time, healing in progress, and Smash Ball readiness, which remains through the change. Any held item is immediately dropped.

Like Zelda's Transform, the next Pokémon to appear must be loaded from the disc before the switch can be completed. Pausing can shorten the in-game switch time (since the game loads during the pause), as can lag when online. If the switch time is artificially shortened as such, replays will temporarily freeze at the point the switch is made (since it must take the full time to load). Forcing the game to load the next character through an SD card via hacking will result in a near-instant switch time.

A technique known as "zero switching" can be performed on horizontally moving platforms; it allows a Pokémon to switch out while leaving the player free to react immediately after the next Pokémon is switched in. To perform the technique, the player must be standing on the edge of a platform that's opposite the direction the platform is moving (such as the right edge of the Smashville platform that's moving toward the left), and initiate Pokémon Change. If done properly, the next Pokémon will appear in the air, leaving the player free to input any aerial action. The zero switch also gives Squirtle and Ivysaur two midair jumps instead of one upon reappearance. Zero switching is commonly used to avoid the high ending lag that results from switching normally.


All three Pokémon's idle animations in prime condition and fatigued condition.
Stamina is a measure of how much energy the Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon have.

At the start of a match, each Pokémon has 100 points of stamina. When a Pokémon is in battle, its stamina drops by half a point every second. (This equates to 3:20 minutes of stamina.) The Pokémon also loses half a point of stamina for every attack it attempts. Once a Pokémon's stamina drops to 40, its standing animation switches to signal fatigue. When the Pokémon's stamina reaches zero, its attacks drop in damage by a factor of 0.7x. Pokémon regain 0.8 points of stamina per second when not being used, and all Pokémon's stamina is increased by 1.3x when any one of them is KO'd.

In the Subspace Emissary, the stamina stat is removed, allowing exclusive usage of one Pokémon.

The concept of stamina is generally detrimental towards Pokémon Trainer's competitive usage. As a clear attempt at forcing players to utilize the group character's full array of options instead of sticking to one of the three Pokémon for an entire match, Pokémon Trainer mains are forced to learn three characters just to stay on top of the game, let alone take control of it, and are penalized for using a single form for too long. This is a clear contrast to other transforming characters, such as the Transform mechanic for Zelda and Sheik, which has no such penalties.

Description from the Instruction Booklet[edit]


Call Charizard back and swap it for a different Pokémon. Damage carries over to the next Pokémon.


Call Squirtle back and swap it for a different Pokémon. Use a Pokémon for too long and it will tire.


Call Ivysaur back and swap it for a different Pokémon. Removing a tired Pokémon from battle lets it grow strong again.


While the phrase "Pokémon Change" itself is not an official term in the Pokémon universe, it describes the act of switching out a Pokémon mid-battle. It is a crucial tactic in the games, both competitively and in-game, and takes place before all other actions for that turn (with the sole exception of the move Pursuit, which is designed to counter switching). In the games, as switching takes up the user's turn, the benefits of bringing in an effective Pokémon against a target it is effective against must be weighed against the risks of being hit hard, setup on, or simply outpredicted by the opponent.

In the Pokémon games, switching out a Pokémon retains most of its current status - it will be cured of minor status effects and stat modifications, but major status effects and HP will remain unchanged. This is in contrast to Brawl, where a switched-out Pokémon regains stamina and has all status effects removed.

The concept of stamina as Brawl uses it does not exist in the Pokémon games; there is no mechanic that naturally makes a Pokémon less effective the longer it remains in play, unless one counts the fact that moves have limited uses (PP), and a single Pokémon used too long will eventually be unable to do anything. Even then however, PP does not replenish while the Pokémon is switched out.



  • With precise timing, the invincibility frames during Pokémon Change can be used to avoid all three of Tabuu's Off Waves.
  • Only one character can be loaded at once, so if multiple Pokémon Changes or Transforms occur at the same time, they must each wait for the previous one to complete.
  • If two Pokémon Trainers are using the same palette swap through glitch or team battle, transforming into the other player's active character will be essentially instant as the data is basically already loaded.
  • In Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen, the Pokémon Trainer's Poké Balls are in the his right bag pocket; however, in Pokémon Change, the Pokémon he's switching to a Poké Ball comes out the left side and the one he's calling back goes to the right.
  • If Pokémon Change is used in Subspace Emissary before Ivysaur is caught, the Pokémon Trainer will just stare down at his Poké Ball and toss it up in the air twice.
  • The Poké Balls used in the move are smaller and darker in color than the Poké Ball item, likely to prevent confusion between the two.

Pokémon Trainer's special moves
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Neutral special (differs between Pokémon)
Side special (differs between Pokémon)
Up special (differs between Pokémon)
Down special Pokémon Change
Final Smash Triple Finish
Squirtle's special moves
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Neutral special Water Gun
Side special Withdraw
Up special Waterfall
Down special (Pokémon Change)
Final Smash Hydro Pump (of Triple Finish)
Ivysaur's special moves
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Neutral special Bullet Seed
Side special Razor Leaf
Up special Vine Whip
Down special (Pokémon Change)
Final Smash SolarBeam (of Triple Finish)
Charizard's special moves
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Neutral special Flamethrower
Side special Rock Smash Flare Blitz
Up special Fly
Down special (Pokémon Change) Rock Smash
Final Smash Fire Blast (of Triple Finish) Mega Charizard X